Currently, beef and chicken are the most consumed meat types in America, with 56 pounds per-person consumption each year on average. But did you know veal consumption used to be at an all-time high in the United States in 1944?
That’s why even though there is a decline in veal consumption, many people in the world still love veal recipes such as veal scallopini and veal parmesan.
If you know how to choose the best veal substitute for your recipes, you can certainly do whatever recipes you want.
Brief Information About Veal
Although the veal industry is known to have a negative background for a long time, many changes have been made in the American veal farms in today’s society.
As veal is undoubtedly a nutrient-rich type of meat, veal farms have tried to improve their living conditions as much as possible.
Records show that veal calves are distributed in group pens, which have larger space for them to stand, lie down, move around, and grow naturally.
They live in modern barns that allow natural sunlight and proper food amounts under veterinarians’ monitoring.
So, there seems to be hope for the veal industry to operate in a more humane method and grow further with more veal recipes.
What Does Veal Taste Like?
As you are reading this, I’m sure you have certain reasons for not eating veal. Maybe it is the animal cruelty aspect of the veal industry, or even a veal allergy. However, as food lovers, many people would agree that veal is a tasty and special type of meat.
Veal is defined as a type of meat extracted from young calves. Before the veal industry’s backlash, this special type of meat has been harvested and produced for many different recipes and dishes since the ancient European time.
Like beef, veal can have a wide range of cuts such as shanks, cutlets, and chops.
When talking about veal taste, most people think it is similar to beef as they are from the same cattle. Well, veal might have an overall smell of beef, but several differences make veal outshines other meat types.
Regardless of the color difference in which the veal tends towards pink instead of red like beef, the most noticeable difference in flavors is the tenderness.
As veal is made of young cattle, it is tenderer than the meat of old cattle because the young muscles are weaker than beef muscles. Thus, veal is easier for us to digest than beef.
Despite the superior taste, veal and beef have similar nutrition amounts with proteins, minerals, and various vitamins.
3 Alternatives To Use as A Veal Substitute For Your Recipes
Veal is a delicate type of meat, but it is not always available in the market due to animal treatment’s cruelty in veal farms. Therefore, the best way to enjoy a veal recipe is to find the most suitable veal substitute for your recipes. Here are five types of meat that can give you a similar result.
1. Pork – The Most Common Substitution
The most common substitute for veal that can be used in various veal recipes is pork. As the third most consumed type of meat in the United States, you can find pork in any supermarket at an extremely affordable price. Pork also has different cuts that might bear a resemblance to veal.
I find the pork’s taste is quite mild yet juicy and extremely tender to our mouth. Raw pork has a bright pink color.
When cooked, pork color will vary from less pink to white, which is quite similar to veal. Pork also has low-fat content than other meats in the red meat family but the same protein content.
Normally, people would use different cuts of pork for different types of dishes. Common pork cuts similar to veal are pork loins, pork belly, pork sirloin, and pork loin chops. Certain lean parts such as tenderloins tend to be pan-fried, while loins, chops, and sirloins are most tasty when roasted.
2. Beef – The Most Similar Alternative
Beef might be the first thing popping up in your mind, but it is not the first in our veal substitute list. You might be right to say beef and veal share similarities, but they also have many differences in terms of texture and taste.
Both beef and veal come from the same bovine family, which inherited a similar beefy scent.
They also have similar nutrition contents with 27% of proteins, 61% of water, 10% fat, and other minerals and vitamins. However, the flavor of veal and beef are quite different depending on the cuts.
Normally, beef tends to have a tougher texture, so you need to cook them low-and-slow.
I recommend that when you prepare beef, you should tenderize the meat first by using a meat mallet to break down the toughest fibers. You can do beef cuts in different ways like pork, such as roasted chuck or rib, pan-fried tenderloins, and grilled short ribs.
3. Mixed Ground Meat – New Replacement That Worth To Try
If you’re working on Cima Alla Genovese without ground veal, mixed ground pork and beef is the perfect ground veal substitute.
When meat is grounded, the distinguishing taste and texture of the meat is no longer noticeable. That’s why other types of ground meat can easily replace ground veal.
A 50:50 ratio of ground pork and ground beef is an ideal mixture to achieve a nice consistency of taste and texture like ground veal. On the one hand, beef can give a resemblance to the smell and nutrition of veal. On the other hand, pork meat provides a decent tenderness that veal has.
What Do You Serve With Veal Scallopini?
Tender veal with a sweet and sour sauce of lemon juice and white wine seems quite heavy to eat alone. You can balance the strong flavors with a mild side dish such as sautéed mushrooms or pan-roasted artichokes.